Is there a world doing about climate change?



Meat consumption toted as climate unfriendly

calendar icon 23 September 2023

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From record-breaking temperatures to devastating storms and floods, 2023’s extreme weather has highlighted the urgency of tackling climate change, according towards the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Humanity has opened the gates of hell,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a Climate Ambition Summit in New York.

He said climate action is “dwarfed because of the scale for the challenge” however the tide may be turned if governments and businesses “turn within the tempo”.

An extensive UN assessment on climate progress, called the worldwide Stocktake, warned this month that more effort was needed “on all fronts” to curb warming and get away from its worst impacts.

So what have countries already done to manage global warming – and just how whenever they step things up?

Exactly what are the world’s countries doing about climate change?

The UN Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 gave countries a target: to limit global average temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times while “pursuing efforts” for the tougher ceiling of 1.5C (2.7F).

Since then, there is “near-universal” action towards these targets, with government policies to cut planet-heating emissions across various sectors, said the UN stocktake.

Renewable energy such as for instance wind and solar has rapidly developed, for instance, and it is likely to get to be the largest supply of global electricity generation by 2025, in line with the International Energy Agency (IEA).

But a landmark a number of global scientific reports have said countries must raise the ambition of these plans and carry them out more quickly, especially to phase out of the extraction and make use of of fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas.

Despite the urgency, countries are missing UN deadlines to submit updated climate plans underneath the Paris Agreement over fifty percent the full time, in line with the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Has there been progress on climate?

In short, yes. Future temperature rises are required to be less extreme, as a result of government commitments to cut back greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2010, global temperature increases were projected to be between 3.7 and 4.8C in 2100, in comparison to pre-industrial times, but that range happens to be brought down seriously to between 2.4 and 2.6C in 2022, in line with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This, however, continues to be well over the 1.5C target that scientists say is just a crucial point when impacts like heatwaves, droughts and flooding become a lot more frequent and severe.

The IPCC says meeting the 1.5C goal would require cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels.

But energy-related emissions of skin tightening and, the key man-made greenhouse gas, rose up to a record full of 2022, in line with the IEA.

To get climate action on course will demand a dramatic acceleration, from halting deforestation to transforming the methods humans travel, work and eat – such as for instance reducing high-polluting plane journeys andmeat consumption.

Is extreme weather normal now?

Scientists are getting to be increasingly adept at connecting the dots between extreme individual events and climate change.

Record heat in Europe and united states in July 2023, for instance, might have been “virtually impossible” minus the impacts of climate change, based on World Weather Attribution, a worldwide number of scientists.

The same group said Libya’s heavy rainfall in September, which triggered deadly floods, was as much as 50 times much more likely as a result of human-caused warming.

As extreme weather gets to be more frequent and widespread, funding to greatly help developing countries protect their people and assets has to increase by as much as 10 times, in line with the United Nations – through measures like strengthening infrastructure or restoring nature being a flood buffer.

Will we ever solve the climate crisis?

The window of opportunity is narrowing to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast adequate to slow our planet’s warming and remain in the 1.5C limit, scientists and UN officials say.

Breaching it may result in a variety of dangerous “tipping points” – or points of no return – like the collapse of ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica which may turbo-charge sea level rise, or perhaps the mass loss of tropical coral reefs in warming oceans.

But you will find positive tipping points, too.

Electric vehicle sales could soon surge as prices fall to near parity with fossil-fuel vehicles, for instance.

Given the proper protection, forests, peatlands as well as other ecosystems can thrive – capturing and absorbing human-caused emissions.

Solutions towards the climate crisis already exist, nevertheless they require unprecedented changes in a new scale and pace across societies, says the IPCC.

And whether or not global warming does exceed 1.5C within the coming years, it adds, every fraction of the degree matters to limit the injury to people and also the planet – also to help pull temperatures back off to safer levels if the time comes.

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